TL;DR Can we all live without our phones? We may feel that it has already become an extension of ourselves but from time to time, it’s good to go on a digital detox for our physical well-being and our mental well-being so we can live life.
How much time do you spend each day on your phone, mindlessly scrolling through videos and photos rather than working on something else? It is not just social media, but everything on the internet will surely catch our attention, and the next thing we know, we are going down the rabbit hole. Not to mention the time we spend watching television.
Being online and engaging in multiple social media apps for long period can be harmful to our mental and physical health. It can cause obesity, sleep problems, depression, stress, and anxiety. That is why it is advisable to take a digital detox.
Giving yourself a break from all your devices will help improve the quality of your life, but that is not the only benefit; here are some of the other advantages of unplugging yourself.
Reconnect With People
Being glued to our phones distracts us from the connection we have with the people around us. Imagine sitting at the same table with a friend, but instead of talking, you’re both busy scrolling through your phone.
Putting away your devices will help you create a conversation where both of you can engage and connect. It also creates an opportunity to focus on the people around you.
Having a real connection with people will help us with our well-being, you will be surprised how fulfilling it is to talk to someone without the distraction of your phone.
Be More Productive
When we check our phones for notifications and emails, we get the urge to reply immediately, which is time-consuming. Putting down our devices will help us concentrate more on the present and get things done. We have responsibilities, and it is hard to focus on them when we are easily distracted by our phones.
But when we need to check our phones and work at the same time, I suggest setting boundaries. For example, do your work for 10 minutes without distractions or checking your phone. And when you’ve done that, you can check your phone during a break. This habit will help you accomplish a lot more in your work and will also help you manage your time better.
One of the best times to check or scroll on your phone is when you are in bed and about to sleep. But instead of getting sleepy, the exact opposite happens. When we are about to sleep, our brain releases a chemical called melatonin; this is the hormone that controls our sleep-wake cycle. But since we are scrolling on our phones, this keeps our brains active, and the blue light that our cell phones emit prevents the release of melatonin, which makes it difficult for us to sleep and wake up the next day.
Having a digital detox before sleeping will help you control your sleep cycle, which will improve your health and well-being.
Our body needs rest, and sleeping is our body’s way to recharge. Not getting enough sleep is terrible for our health and may cause some issues in the long run.
Improve Attention Span
No matter what we are doing most of the time, when we see our phones light up with a notification, we immediately read it. And this disrupts our attention to what we are doing. Research from various colleges published a paper in World Psychiatry claiming that increased internet usage is leading to decreased verbal intelligence among children and cognitive offloading among adults.
Cognitive offloading means the use of tools to remember things. An example is setting a reminder on our phone for an event; when we do that, we instantly forget about it and let our phone remind us of the day.
This process may help us remember things, but it diminishes how we hold information for a short period, solve problems, and use spatial memory.
A digital detox will help us to focus better on our tasks, which will lead to better quality work. And when we are less distracted, we are not overwhelmed with things that cause stress.
Better Manage Your Time
Checking on our phones when we have free time has already become a habit for almost all of us, but what seems like a few minutes of scrolling turns into an hour. On average, people spend 2 hours on social media each day, and that takes up a big chunk of their time.
Doing a digital detox will help us reduce the urge to look at our phones while we are doing other things, which will help us save time. Being able to manage your time well will help you accomplish more than you thought possible.
Logging out of social media or turning your phone on silent while doing a task will greatly reduce the time that you will spend on it.
Digital devices are a major part of our day-to-day lives, but taking care of ourselves and our well-being is still our priority. “Digital detox” means a way to disconnect ourselves from our devices and the internet. This makes us appreciate what we have in real life. It is just as important to our bodies as exercise; it helps us deal with stress better and improves our overall quality of life.
There is more to life to enjoy than just staring at a wonderful view on your screen. We just need to appreciate our surroundings.
Dr. Krysti (Lan Chi) Vo, MD, is a psychiatrist, speaker, and advisor. She specializes in helping people be better versions of themselves. For more articles like this, visit our website.